My kingdom for a horse…

You know, it’s really important to know where your horse is. King Richard III of England didn’t and he ended up buried in a car park in Leicester. I know what you’re thinking: if only he’d RFID tagged his horse. Well, you might not have been thinking that, but I know I was.

RFID significantly enhances protection from theft by providing animals with a unique encrypted identification (see RFID Animal Identification). And, what is more, disease control can be improved by storing and updating vaccination and movement data, directly into the chip or into the back-end system, ensuring consumers healthy and good-tasting meat with a clear proof of origin. Now I really do believe I know what you’re thinking.

I don’t begin to understand all the complexities and the ramifications (does anyone?) of the ‘Horsegate’ scandal currently embroiling Europe, but according to a story I read recently in the Daily Telegraph, apparently it has become easier for fraudulent traders to slaughter horses and sell the meat as beef. Horses are supposed to have individual identity passports that state whether a horse can be slaughtered for meat – and of course there are serious health issues concerning Phenylbutazone, or bute. But apparently it is relatively easy to fake horse passports, or obtain new ones.

So, I just thought that surely RFID has got to be part of a better long-term solution? I don’t know, I’m just throwing it out there….

And it might have saved Richard III. We’ll just never know…

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  1. Avatar John Walker says:

    Certainly brings a new meaning to steak and chips… I’ll get my coat

  2. Avatar Leyli Salmanova says:

    I thought we heard it all about horsemeat, but RFID… who could have seen that twist of the story!

  3. Avatar Alice Liang says:

    This may be an innovation to protect animals, but it is still a long way to go.

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